Column 119

 

When Barry Peacock announced the merger of Kempenfelt Graphics with Cober Evolving Solutions out of Kitchener recently, it was exciting news for the printing industry.

For Barry and son Chris, who is president of Kempenfelt Graphics, the move blends two families with similar community feelings and beliefs into one very high tech sheet format printing service.

Chris will remain overseeing the Barrie operation as vice president, joining his Cober counterpart vice president, Todd Cober who works in Kitchener. Both young men have had the benefit of growing up in a family business.

For the staff at Kempenfelt Graphics, the name on the Saunders Rd building will change, but the customer base, and day to day printing activities will remain the same. Cober has a solid name in the field and Kempenfelt has a 40 year printing history to blend into the Cober printing services.

Sounds good all round.

For Barry, this represents an opportunity to devote more time to his activities with the Peacock Foundation, a charitable organization founded by Barry's father, Bruce. It also gives him more time with three grandchildren and some quality time with wife, Liz Anderson-Peacock at their cottage.

But Barry is never far from a community betterment activity. He's been involved in fundraising to build the Barrie Molson Centre. He's involved himself (at the initiation of Jamie Massie) in helping to raise over $800,000 for Operation Hero, the post secondary scholarship program to benefit children of armed forces personnel at Base Borden and Owen Sound.

The Peacock Foundation has supported birthing rooms at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, both Barrie libraries, a scholarship fund for the Children's Aid Foundation, to name a few recent initiatives.

Originally the owner and developer of Comet gas stations and Peacock Petroleums, the Peacocks turned to the printing industry when they acquired a small printing company in 1987, the same year they sold the fuel, Comet gas stations and milk stores. As a growing corporate entity, Kempenfelt Graphics participated in the development of the Barrie Sports Park in Midhurst, at the invitation of founder, Gerry Ray.

The company acquired Boulevard Printing, a division of Sears, in 1996, folding it into the Kempenfelt name but retaining its Guelph, ON location. A year later, Kempenfelt was named to the Top 100 printers in Canada, industry recognition that bore great weight for Kempenfelt employees.

The company continued to remain a community presence with foundation of the Teach a Kid to Fish program, the Georgian Thought Leadership Program, and the Growing by Degrees initiative.

Georgian Thought leadership encouraged community participation and business leadership discussion in the long term benefits of post secondary education in all Georgian College campuses in Orangeville, Owen Sound, Orillia, Midland and Barrie.

The Growing by Degrees program involved Barry Peacock's energy in expanding university programs in the Barrie region, a mutually beneficial initiative.

When Barry leaves his office key on his desk on Wednesday, April 30, and walks to the parking lot for the last time, he turns over a company he and Chris have nurtured well. The Kempenfelt employees will carry on; and Barry will turn his sights to community initiatives, and more importantly, family.

Thanks, Barry.

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